Holiday Rails

After many years of heartache and pain the decision to leave wasn’t due to the final blow of yesterday. It was the last stinging barb that would do the trick. Being unappreciated and left out, this last overseas job had her fuming.

James was due back on Tuesday from a job that had taken 3 weeks longer to finish because of someone else’s incompetence. He told me that whoever had leaked the plans for the new launch had everyone scrambling to cover their tracks. It was inevitable he said, “They’re just not used to high visibility clients. This one is going to take a miracle to fix!” What he didn’t know was that she had an insider who was telling her what he was really doing on that overseas “job” as he put it.

That was the last straw. So she packed up what she could and left for parts unknown. Her first stop was of course her parents’ house. She decided to leave most of her things there. She told them that she needed a break and this was a good time to take it. With James out of her life now she knew that she could make decisions on her own. That’s when the “plan” became a reality.

Just a few months ago she and James had been talking about taking a long trip together. He never liked the idea of riding on a train. And, of course that’s all Stacy wanted to do. Luckily she had a friend who became a travel agent out of high school and was doing very well for herself. I approached Diane as soon as I could for an itinerary that would last several weeks with stops across the U.S.

“Stacy! It’s so good to see you!” Diane said. What I had forgotten was Diane’s exuberance at everything. “So, tell me what’s going on? Why the trip now? It’s almost Christmas? Don’t you want to stay home with that hunky boyfriend of yours?” With an exasperated sigh and not wanting to let too much be known, I answered as directly as possible without giving too much away. “Hi Diane, I was hoping just to take a trip by myself, sort of self-discovery, you know? I would like to take some time and see where my life is going.” Well, to Diane that meant, “Oh Honey! I’m so sorry; he left you for someone else, didn’t he? Have I got an itinerary for you? Since you laid out the ground rules for this excursion it wasn’t hard for me to find you something that will give a little bit of everything, sunshine, snow and a little bit of surfing.”

“You’ll be leaving in two days’ time.  Here’s your bookings, hotel and cars are ready at your disposal at every stop. Just call ahead and it will be waiting at the station. Everything is mapped out, down to what to wear. You’ll be arriving in the Pacific Northwest just in time for the groundbreaking movie, you know the one that everyone is talking about but you have to be 18 or older to watch it. I have tickets for you. There’s a gala and a screening. You’ll love it. There’s information in the packet. I wish I was going, there are going to be some hot guys there.” Diane giggled. And, with as much as exuberance as when I first walked in the door.

“Diane, I don’t’ need to find a man on this trip, I just need to get away.” I said. “The last thing I want to do is get dressed up for some erotica party!” I said in a low voice, there was another family that was making a trip for spring break. I didn’t want them to think I was loose or something.

Diane said, “Who cares? You’re going on a trip where no one will know you. It’s a costume ball, for goodness sakes!” You are going as Cinderella! No one needs to know your name! And besides, I’ll be there too!”

“What?” I exclaimed! Diana explained, “I wanted it to be a surprise! Bill said I could go. I want to go and have some fun, and he said if I was going with you I couldn’t get into any trouble.” Oy! This is not what I want happening! I face smacked myself so hard I left a red mark!

After leaving Diane I decided a needed a new wardrobe. Good thing that I was a great financier. One thing my parents taught me was to save a modest amount every month to put aside for a rainy day. Well, that day has come. She had built herself a very nice nest egg and was able to move quite a bit over and still have enough to live on for another couple of years. This was a much needed vacation and she wasn’t about to waste her time thinking of a man that’s been cheating on her for the last year!

Her first stop was Miss Polly’s Boutique where you could find everything from grandma’s panties to the latest in gadgets and toys. She was a one-of-a-kind friend always there when you need her with a little boost of ego and eccentricity. Before I could let the door close I was greeted warmly by this woman who knew all before I did. “Oh babe, I’m sorry that bastard did what he did! Serves him right! You should have left a long time ago.” She said giving me a hug as big as her heart is. “Thank you, Miss Polly, I know I should have, I just didn’t think it could be true. It was by happenstance that my friend Lori was on the same job, that she discovered his penchant for other women.” I said truthfully. “Well don’t let that get you down, I hear your going on a fantastic trip! Is that why you came to see me? Some toys for your train ride?” Miss Polly said laughing all the while pulling toys from the shelf. “I don’t need any toys for this trip I just would like some lingerie, something new to make me feel pretty again.” I said. Miss Polly was grunting at the mere thought of it, “You don’t need anything to make you feel pretty; you need a man that will take care of you. He’ll make you feel prettier than any lingerie ever could.” With that thought I started picking out some two piece sets that would make any man squirm. The array of colors and styles would also keep any man guessing. I wanted some tanks and shorts to sleep in along with a beautiful chemise and corset. (According to Miss Polly everyone should have one.)  She also threw in a French Maid costume, had heard from our friend RaeLyn that it was all the rage. (I’ll be talking to her later as well), I thought with a smirk.

With my purchases from Miss Polly tucked away in the trunk I had one more stop to make and with the way things were already going I was sure that Victoria already knew what was happening in my life. “Stacy! Hey Girl! How are you? Stupid jerk, I hope he gets what’s coming to him. Aren’t you glad you never married him?” Victoria never to be quiet about anything tells it like it is and then some. “Vic he never asked me, another reason to cut my losses now instead of later. I don’t know what I was thinking after all these years to be tied down to someone like that.” I said. “Well, it’s a good thing you’ve come to see me before you go on that trip. What would you like for me to do today? How about some highlights and trim? I promise you’ll love it. The mousy brown that you have could be highlighted and no one would be the wiser.” Vic said. My hair has been short ever since I could remember. Just this past year I had been letting it grow out, I like it longer and could
pull it up in a ponytail and go if I wanted too. So, I agreed to have it trimmed with some highlights. I wanted to be different more carefree, now is my chance.

A couple of hours later I was staring at a new person. My hair was absolutely gorgeous! I just stared at myself for the longest time not knowing what to do; I had never seen myself look so bright and happy! I turned and looked at Vic, got up from the chair and hugged the life out of her. “You like it? You really like it?” She said. I really liked it, and I was crying because I had never had anyone do this for me before. It was so exciting I paid Vic and ran back to Miss Polly’s so she could see me. She cried for me too. Told me that if I didn’t find a man on this trip there was something wrong with them. I laughed, and told Miss Polly that if there was a good looking unattached man on this trip he should be wary of me!

After making all of my purchases for the trip I went back home and put everything except for my traveling outfit in my new suitcases. I would be gone a long time and I wanted to make sure that I have checked everything off my list at least twice. I was ready to go and in less than 24 hours I would be on the vacation of a lifetime.

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